The Tech Making Christmas Easier for Shoppers AND Retailers

By David Knight |

The first Glühwein has been consumed (mit Schuss, naturally), Unter den Linden looks less ugly than usual and task number one of a morning is no longer checking the smartphone but rather, opening another tasty door in the advent calendar. Yup, Christmas is almost upon us.

Another sign of impending festive cheer is the blank mind and subsequent panic that sets in when it comes to choosing the perfect gifts for family and friends. There are, of course, plenty of innovative ways to help you get over this particular bump, but it’s a space which always booms with solutions this time of year – and the same goes for retailers.

Just this week, Berlin startup Locadeo has been pushing its search engine as the best way to figure out what people really want for Christmas. The platform creates individualised tips for people based on what they say on Facebook; this works, so its creators say, not only for your friends but also for kids, parents and grandparents.

The overarching idea is to enable users to give loved ones something a little more personal than money or vouchers – although if it’s teenagers you’re buying for, it might be best to stick to hard cash (you’re welcome, teenagers).

Nonetheless, giving money is fairly accurately described by Christoph Koepernick, founder and CEO of Locadeo, as an “impersonal stopgap,” adding: “A personal gift, and no matter how small, cements love and deep appreciation.”

That’s where using Facebook data can be interesting. “We collect some of this data and compare it to a large catalogue of products with a high emotional experience factor,” said Locadeo’s technical director Christian Baer.

The service is free to use and you data will not be passed on to third parties without permission. You can use Locadeo via the Web and also on Android and iPhone apps.

Another group of people who are hoping you won’t simply give money this Christmas retailers, both on and offline. Hence the festive push by adsquare, a mobile audience targeting platform.

Founded in Berlin just over a year ago, adsquare rightly points out that at no other time of year is it more important for retailers to reach the right audience and draw attention to offers at the appropriate moment. Thus it is offering a solution for advertisers to target consumers with mobile advertising in the right context to maximise festive sales.

The platform achieves this by defining the ‘Christmas shopper’ – consumers who go shopping after work or at the weekend in the run up to Christmas; they are in the mood to buy gifts as they roam shopping centres and Christmas markets.

Daniel Rieber, director of business development at adsquare, said: “While classical location-based advertising is limited to the current location, adsquare can put context variables such as time, events, weather, product affinities and socio-demographic data into the targeting.”

Hopefully, all this technology will make the festive season a slightly less frenetic affair – especially when it comes to choosing our gift, which is surely at the front of all of your minds…